Ashland City Council met at 7 p.m. on Tuesday March 6. Mayor John Stromberg, five city councilors, the city administrator, the city attorney and members of the public gathered in the Council chambers to discuss a potential pilot micro transit program, a change in Recology Ashland’s rates, and hear citizens’ concerns.
Paula Brown, Public Works Director, and her deputy, Scott Fleury, spoke to the councilors about a potential micro transit program. Public Works, City of Ashland Engineering, and Rogue Valley Transportation District are working to secure a grant that would allow for an 18 month pilot of 2 ADA accessible vans.
“We’re asking the council to accept this study tonight as a planning and prioritization document moving forward that will help support the grant being recognized and reviewed at the state level,” said Fleury.
The program would collect data on the use of these vans, and use this information to potentially implement a permanent program.
“If RVTD recieves the grant, they can implement this pilot program for about 18 months, of which we would collect data on origin and destination, ridership, and things of that nature,” he said.
The council approved a consumer rate index increase of 3.1% in Recology Ashland’s rates and fees, effective April 1. The council also approved a first reading of an amendment to the Ashland Municipal Code, which concerns changes in city system developments.
Mayor Stromberg announced the open spaces in multiple city council committees, including the Conservation Committee, which are open to citizen volunteers. Over 25 citizen commissions and committees work with councilors and the mayor to encourage public support and stability.
Ashland Police Department Chief O’Meara introduced the new deputy chief of police, Art LeCours.
6 members of the public filled an allotted 15 minutes speaking about issues in the community that concerned them. These issues ranged from protesting the anticipated presence of the Vanguard band camp in the SOU stadium this summer to runoff from hog and chicken slaughter houses.
Dennis Slattery, an Ashland city councilor and an Accounting professor at SOU said, “We are the policy making body of the city – we are all elected, 6 of us and the mayor…staff and community members bring us items to put into law.”
Slattery encouraged SOU students to stay informed about Ashland City Council. “I think students are interested in housing issues, so we’re working on that. There are transit issues, there are bus line issues, there are those kinds of things,” he said.
“We also work on economy,” Slatterly continued. “Right now we’re trying to figure out smoke related issues with a number of stakeholders”
Slattery is on the housing and human services committee, so he does work with affordable housing. “It’s one of my interests,” he said. The city councilman is open to students reaching out to him through email or meeting, and he can be contacted at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Ashland City Council meets the first and third Tuesday of every month at 1175 E. Main St. Council meetings are open to the public.